Iris Steinley serves Mike Linton a hotdog during the 60th Anniversary community barbecue, hosted Friday by Red Deer’s St. John Ambulance chapter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

More medical first responders needed when Red Deer hosts Canada Winter Games

St. John Ambulance needs volunteers to help spectators in crisis

St. John Ambulance is celebrating 60 years in Red Deer by preparing to respond to the emergency needs of thousands of spectators during the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

“We’re looking for more volunteers,” said Pamela Doucette, community services co-ordinator for Red Deer’s St. John Ambulance chapter. She hopes to sign up 20 more first responders who can assist if there are emergencies in the stands after the Games start on Feb. 15.

When sports fans from across Canada arrive in Red Deer, there’s always a chance someone could have a heart attack, diabetic reaction, or fall, said Doucette. She noted the athletes will have their own medical specialists, but a team of local first responders needs to be readied to assist spectators-in-need before paramedics arrive.

Anyone interested in becoming a first responder needs to clear a criminal background check and to complete a free course through St. John Ambulance that takes about 80 hours.

While that’s a significant time commitment, it could save lives: Doucette noted volunteers from her group are always on hand in case of an emergency at local pancake breakfasts, fundraising walks and runs, dances and the Westerner Days parade.

The local organization celebrated its 60th year in Red Deer on Friday with a community barbecue that attracted a lot of neighbours along 67th Street.

Kim Laing, vice-president of public relations and business development for the St. John Alberta Council, said the non-profit contributes about $16-million worth of volunteer services annually. The Red Deer chapter, with about 50 members, makes up about a fifth of that amount.

The group traces its origins back a thousand years, to the Crusades, when Benedictine monks treated injured soldiers on the battlefield.

Laing said first-aid skills haven’t changes significantly since St. John Ambulance was established in Canada in 1884 — but access to technological equipment and training have improved vastly.

St. John programs have also grown: They now include a safety course for babysitters, a program for therapy dogs that help those in emotional trauma, and information sessions on properly installing infant and child car seats.

For more information, please visit stjohn.ab.ca.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month